Grief. It’s such a weird word, so short, simple, to the point. The world doesn’t teach you about grief growing up, instead, grief is learned, it’s experienced, it hangs over you in the most trying, complicated times in your life. You don’t get a preparation in grief until one brief moment and it’s all you know.

Grief:

ɡrēf/
noun
  1. deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

Grief just kind of happens, one minute the world is fine, you live life the way you’ve always lived. Then it’s just there. I don’t think grief ever goes away, not in a way that you can go on living life the way you did before. It never leaves you, hangs on into the darkest corners of your heart and mind. Some days you may not feel it, you may even have good days, but then the grief creeps out slowly. Sometimes, you’ll be able to go on with life keeping it at bay. There will be other times where it’s crippling, where it can take over your entire world.

It’s been 8 years since my dad died, but there are still nights that I relive the day he died, over and over. There are times where the void is so obvious that I can’t even think about getting out of bed, actually living. I still find myself thinking of telling him things when they happen. There are times when I can’t go places because the memories of being somewhere with him, or pictures of him break my heart. Sometimes all I want is to surround myself with his brothers and sisters, his parents, and just be close to him. But there are days that seeing them hurts even more. Grief doesn’t stop.

Caiden would have been turning 6 this year. Our baby, who should have grown up with us, who should have reached milestones, only lived 18 days on this earth. Each day of his life spent in a dark hospital room, in an incubator. I got to hold our sweet darling baby twice while he was living, and once while he took his last breaths. But there are nights that I find my arms aching for our baby. There are days where Lucas and I talk about Caiden and it doesn’t ache, because I know he’s with God and PawPaw Ralph. More often than not though, it’s like a dark cloud hanging over me. I wonder why me, I wonder what he would have looked like, sounded like. I picture his laughter, and his tears. I wonder if he would have needed to cuddle to sleep every night like his little brother. I wonder if he would have been as ornery and loving as Kash. I wonder if he would be as brave and resilient as Evelyn. Grief never ends.

There are supposed to be 7 stages of grief. It makes it seem so easy, like once you reach the seventh stage it’s done, you’ve made it through. Sometimes though, just a thought, a picture, a moment will bring you right back to the beginning. My life will be forever haunted by grief. Wondering if I made the right choices, if I could have changed things. Maybe if things would have been just a little different I could still have my dad around, and my sweet baby in my arms.

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